Todd gets big break
By Mark Robinson
Former Lismore Italo Stars captain Todd Gava is on the verge of fulfilling a life-long dream after being signed by Queensland Roar for Soccer Australia's revamped A-League starting in September.
Roar coach Miron Bleiberg announced Gava's signing this week, along with three other former Queensland Lions players ? attacking midfielder Warren Moon, lethal striker Reece Tollenaere and Australian Under-20 representative Ben Griffen.
"These are my most satisfying signings as they are all guys that belong to what I call the 'hat-trick heroes'," Bleiberg said.
"They were all part of the squad that won the Brisbane premier league grand final and championship in 2002, 2003 and 2004 for the Lions."
Queensland Roar will be the A-League face of the Queensland Lions, where Gava has shown his class by winning their best and fairest for the past three years.
"I'm very happy to be taking the step up," a clearly delighted Gava said.
"My aim will simply be to stay in the starting line-up each week and to do that I'll have to work hard, stay fit and remain injury free."
The talented defender last played in Lismore in the 2000 Far North Coast premier division grand final as captain of Italo Stars against Southern Cross University.
He played an inspirational role in Stars' come-from-behind win.
At 24, Gava has a potentially long career ahead of him and this week had the luxury or resigning from his day job as manager of a sports store to concentrate full-time on his new frontier.
Gava is thought to be only the seventh player to rise from local ranks to national league level.
He follows Craig and Paul Foster, goalkeepers Terry Greedy (who went on to play for Australia) and Adam Fittock, Anthony Alvos and Adam Hughes